Body parts found near explosion

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iol afr feb 17 Garissa AFP File photo: A man is stretchered as he arrives at the Garissa General Provincial Hospital, close to the border with Somalia.

Nairobi - One person was killed in a bomb blast at a school in the northeast Kenyan town of Garissa late Saturday, officials said, adding they believed the man may have been the bomber himself.

“Badly damaged body parts of a man were discovered at Garissa primary school after a loud explosion,” said a senior police officer in the restive region which borders war-torn Somalia, speaking on condition of anonymity.

“We strongly suspect he is the one who had the bomb, and was most likely assembling it when it went off,” he said on Sunday, adding that investigations were continuing.

Two pistols were also found at the blast site, he added.

The bomb blast is the latest in a string of attacks in Garissa - which lies some 120 kilometres from Somalia, where Kenyan troops are fighting Islamist insurgents - as well as elsewhere in Kenya.

Garissa county commissioner Maalim Mohammed confirmed there had been “an incident where a person was killed”, adding that investigations were ongoing.

Attacks have increased in Kenya since Nairobi sent soldiers into Somalia to fight al-Qaeda-linked Shebab insurgents in October 2011, prompting warnings of revenge from the extremists.

The violence has been blamed on the insurgents or their Kenyan supporters, although no attacks have been claimed by the Shebab.

The Shebab are on the back foot in southern Somalia after losing a series of key towns to African Union troops - including the Kenyan army - as well as allied Somali forces and Ethiopian soldiers.

However, the Shebab continue to stage guerrilla attacks, raising security concerns in Kenya ahead of the March 4.

Guns are common in the impoverished northeast region, which hosts some 500,000 Somali refugees. - Sapa-AFP

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